Maple Pecan Present Cookies with Penuche Icing

2016-05-07
  • Yield : About 2 dozen cookies
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 15m
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring work surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped, optional
  • Royal icing, for detailing, optional

Method

Step 1

For the cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar, mixing until pale yellow and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add in the maple extract and eggs and mix well. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. 

Step 2

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, divide into two disks, wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Step 4

Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out present shapes with the cookie cutter and place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the scraps to get as many cookies as possible, returning the dough to the refrigerator to chill if necessary. 

Step 5

Bake just until the edges start to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. (Bake one sheet at a time for even cooking and browning.) Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. 

Step 6

For the penuche icing: In a small saucepan , combine the brown sugar and butter and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slowly add the milk and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the confectioners' sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. 

Step 7

Spread the penuche icing over the cookies and sprinkle with the chopped pecans if using. Add royal icing detailing, such as a bow, if desired.

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